The Case of the Missing CD Plates

or

A Strange Case of Diplomatic Immunity

First broadcast on October 18, 1955

Script by Spike Milligan
Produced by Peter Eton
Announced by Wallace Greenslade
Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott


Greenslade:
This is the BBC.
Sellers:
We present the extraordinary talking-type wireless Goon Show!
FX:
[Simple dance hall-type music]
Seagoon:
So much for the mysterious horn-equipped, hand-operated phonograph. And now, Greenslade, stop scraping that heavily soiled sheet and read the inscription thereon.
Greenslade:
Very good, sir. We present Baroness Orkesy's masterpiece, Baron Orkesy, or A Strange Case of Diplomatic Immunity, in which a strange case of diplomatic immunity is recounted. Chapter One, a Strange Diplomatic Case of Immunity, or A Diplomatic Case of Strange Immunity.
Secombe:
Chapter Two!
Omnes:
Hooray!
Seagoon:
Chapter Three. Me. [someone blows a raspberry] One morning in the year needle-nardle-noo I had decided to spend the holiday abroad. How I love Rome with all her fountains! Ah, Rome! There's no place like Rome! Hah-ha! [clears throat self consciously]. So I thought as I sat eating a small string pie in Trafalgar Square. I spent the next hour pleasantly washing my overcoat in the fountain.
Bloodnok:
[sings] The man from Laramie... He had an elbow on each arm... and one upon his shoulder... [to Seagoon] I say. You with the zink cardigan, are you English?
Seagoon:
Only by descent.
Bloodnok:
By descent?
Seagoon:
I came down by parachute!
Bloodnok:
You ought to be ashamed of yourself. ...
Seagoon:
I don't wish to know that, sir!
Bloodnok:
In the most beautiful fountain in Trafalgar Square you have the audacity, and the audicity to wash an overcoat, thus fouling the water. You might have waited until I finished my bath!
Seagoon:
To tell you the truth, sir, I thought you were a statue.
Bloodnok:
I have enough decency, sir, not to move when I'm naked.
Seagoon:
Haven't you got a bath where you're staying?
Bloodnok:
Of course I have!
Seagoon:
Where are you staying?
Bloodnok:
Here!
Seagoon:
What made you choose Trafalgar Square?
Bloodnok:
You like pigeon pie?
Seagoon:
[to audience] Disgusted by his old-world courtesy, I strapped on my nickel-plated bagpipes and strode into Regent Street. A dreadful mistake!
FX:
[sound of machinery]
Voice:
Look out!
Seagoon:
[screams]
FX:
[bagpipes scream, die]
Greenslade:
Dear Listener: The sound that you've just heard was that of a one-hundred-ton steam roller passing slowly over Neddy Seagoon and his nickel-plated bagpipes. Of course, to record this sound the BBC naturally did not actually run over Neddy Seagoon with a steam roller. Instead, the steam roller was driven over Eccles. Thank you.
Eccles:
Fine, fine, fine...
Constable (Willium):
'Ere, ah, 'ere, ah, 'ere, what's goin' on, 'ere, ah, 'ere...
Seagoon:
Ah, constabule! I demand that you arrest the driver of that hundred-ton, anthrocite-filled, reciprocating engine steam roller!
Constable:
Let's hear the charge.
Seagoon:
I'll play it for you
FX:
[trumpet charge, rumble of hoof-beats]
Constable:
Thank you.
Seagoon:
Now I want you to arrest the driver of that steam roller!
Constable:
Oh, well, well, right, where's the driver?
Moriarty:
Sapristy knuckles! Yaka-baka-boo! Who want's to know? I am the man.
Constable:
Now then, this gentleman here says that you're the driver of that steam roller, sir.
Moriarty:
So do I.
Seagoon:
That makes two of us. Constable, arrest the driver, I have witnesses!
Moriarty:
Who are they?
Seagoon:
You and me.
Moriarty:
You can't arrest me!
Seagoon:
And why not?
Moriarty:
[laughs]
Seagoon:
[laughs]
Moriarty:
See that plate on the steam roller? See the letters on it? C.D.
Constable:
Cor, blimey!
Moriarty:
No, Corps Diplomatique! I have diplomatic immunity!
Constable:
Get me out of here! Call a doctor!
Moriarty:
Sapristy yakamakaka! Diplomatic immunity means I cannot be arrested, sued, disfranchized, blackballed, guillotined, run out, left in bulk, [inaudible], charged, hung, drawn or quartered, or needle-nardle-nooed! You see, I happen to be the deputy vice pomme-fritte of the Titicacan legation.
Seagoon:
Then why are you driving a steamroller?
Moriarty:
My feet hurt me.
FX:
[music]
Seagoon:
And so, here I was. Freshly run over with my bagpipes irreparably flattened and without a remedy. The weight of the steamroller has made a lasting impression on me. I was now 2 inches thick and 24 feet wide. This, this was very awkward. People kept opening and shutting me. But what I needed most... was a kind word.
Eccles:
'Allooo!
Seagoon:
And that wasn't it! As I lay on the road, I looked down to a lidless top hat and an up-turned face.
Eccles:
Here, sit down on the pavement and rest a while. Hey! What's that sailing out of a sixth-floor window up there? It's a piano.
Seagoon:
A piano? [chuckles] Bird-brained idiot! What would a piano be doing falling from
FX:
[piano lands]
Seagoon:
Help! I'm under the piano!
Eccles:
Give us a tune?
Seagoon:
[under it] I can't find my music.
Eccles:
Okay, then, it's time for Max Geldray
Max Geldray and Orchestra
[Musical Interlude: "That's Why the Lady is a Tramp"]
Greenslade:
That was Mr. Max Geldray playing a harmonica. We thought you ought to know what it was, anyhow.
Eccles:
Fine, fine, fine...
Greenslade:
And now, a word from Neddy Seagoon:
Seagoon:
HELP! Get this piano off me! Send for the fire brigade!
Eccles:
Why, are you on fire?
Seagoon:
No!
Eccles:
Okay, we gotta have a reason for sending for 'em. I'll start one.
Greenslade:
And so, while Eccles set fire to nearby Craven Hotel, the East Acton Volunteer Auxiliary Civilian Fire Force came dashing up.
FX:
[fire bell and horse drawn wagon at various speeds (though rather slow overall)]
Crun:
Come on, Min. Load the water pistols and fill that wicker basket at the fountain.
FX:
[wagon speeds up suddenly]
Bannister:
Ohhh!
Crun:
Steady, Lightning!
Minnie:
Ohhh? Oh, dear, dear, oh. There's a naughty, naughty man bathing in the fountain!
FX:
[fetching water]
Bloodnok:
Madam, put away that spy glass and stop using my bath water!
Seagoon:
Help!
Crun:
Don't you worry, young man, we shall have that heavy piano off you before you can say Jack Robinson. But don't say it for the next seven hours.
Eccles:
Here! That big hotel over there is on fire!
Crun:
Where?
FX:
[fire, yelling in distance, under dialogue for next while]
Crun:
Oh, yes, yes, Minnie, make a note that that hotel over there is on fire.
Bannister:
Okay, Firechief Crun, buddy.
Seagoon:
Help!
Eccles:
Hey! Where are all the other firemen?
Crun:
They're all at the Fire Safety Week Dinner.
Eccles:
Where is that?
Crun:
In that hotel over there. Now, then, Min, get that leather crane into position over the piano.
Bannister:
Okay, buddy, okay [mumbles away]
FX:
[crane moves]
Crun:
Did you sign for the crane before we left, Min? Did you sign for it?
Bannister:
[off] Yes, yes...
Seagoon:
Help!
Crun:
Good, good. Well, I'm glad you signed because we've got to have the documents to prove it, you know. You must have a documents.
Bannister:
[off] What? What documents, Henry?
Crun:
For the crane, Min. The documents for the crane, you must have them, you know, you...
Seagoon:
[screaming] Never mind about the blasted documents!
Crun:
Ah, no, I'm sorry, you must have the documents, you must have them, you... Where are they, Min?
Bannister:
[off] Where are what?
Seagoon:
[screams] Help!
Crun:
You must have the documents, you can't...
Bannister:
[off] You've got the documents, have you?
Crun:
...you can't get the wood, you know.
Greenslade:
Meanwhile, in a teahouse in Saigon:
FX:
[Pointless Milliganish music with slight oriental tones, sped up]
Greenslade:
We just thought you'd be interested... We return you now to our story
Bannister:
[off] Oh.
Crun:
All right, Minnie.
Seagoon:
Help!
Crun:
He's returned us to the story. Lower the crane.
FX:
[crane lowering sounds]
Crun:
All right, hook it on... Take the left tension...
Bannister:
[off] Left tension, buddy.
Crun:
Now the right tension, right... right...
Bannister:
[off] Right tension, Henry.
Crun:
Attach the grappling claws...
Seagoon:
Help!
Crun:
Take up the slack... Are you ready?
Bannister:
[off] Yes!
FX:
[factory whistle]
Crun:
Lunch!
FX:
[winch unwinding]
Seagoon:
I never saw them again. I finally extricated myself from under the piano. Filled with rage at the perpetrators of this outrage, I knocked at the door of the window from which the piano had been thrown..
FX:
[knocking, door opens]
Grytpype-Thynne:
Oh, yes, we've been expecting you... Give me your hat and coat... Thank you. Now, get out.
FX:
[door slams; furious knocking; door opens]
Grytpype-Thynne:
Oh, yes, we've been expecting you. You left your hat and coat. Here. Now, get out!
FX:
[door slams; silence; furious knocking; door opens]
Grytpype-Thynne:
I'm sorry, everyone's out.
Seagoon:
Wait! I have a question. Are you a piano short?
Grytpype-Thynne:
Only one.
Seagoon:
And... where is that?
Grytpype-Thynne:
I really couldn't say. I threw it out of the window one night and the next morning it was gone!
Seagoon:
You careless, lackadaisical piano waster!
Grytpype-Thynne:
Needle-nardle-noo!
Seagoon:
To name but a few!
Grytpype-Thynne:
Of course.
Seagoon:
Do you realize that it struck me in the bagpipes?
Grytpype-Thynne:
What?
Seagoon:
I'm going to sue you for wanton piano hurling and 50,000.
Grytpype-Thynne:
You can't have both.
Seagoon:
Very well, I shall take the money.
Moriarty:
You will have neither!
Seagoon:
Great heavens, it's Count Foreign Fred Moriarty!
Moriarty:
Ah-ho!
Seagoon:
The fiendish steamroller driver of Regent Street.
Moriarty:
Yes, likewise we claim diplomatic immunity from charges that you have been struck by a piano.
Seagoon:
Why?
Grytpype-Thynne:
This is a Titicacan legation and that piano carries a Corps Diplomatic plate.
Seagoon:
It does not! And, what is more, I have the bits stored in a secret bonded warehouse in Bond Street until I produce it as evidence in the forthcoming legal proceedings!
Moriarty:
[whispers] Sapristy piano! Unless we can get that Corps Diplomatique plate secretly screwed on that piano, we are pst, tck, vng!
Grytpype-Thynne:
Unless we can get that Corps Diplomatic plate securely screwed to that piano we are pst, tck, vng!
Seagoon:
Sapristi piano! Unless they can get that Corps Diplomatic plate securely screwed to that piano, they are pst-tck-vng!
Greenslade:
Meanwhile, in a stench-packing factory in Saigon...
FX:
[Pointless Milliginish music with slight oriental tones, sped up, ending in pst, tck, vng]
Greenslade:
We return you now to where we left off. Pist. Tick. Vang.
Eccles:
Fine, fine, fine...
[they have trouble continuing because they are laughing so much]
Seagoon:
Dear listener, I realized I had them! Without that CD plate on the the piano their cook was goosed! So I went to see the most astute legal mind in Trafalgar square.
FX:
[water flowing]
Bloodnok:
[singing] ...the man from yiddle-ong-pong...
Seagoon:
Bloodnok! Bloodnok! Bloodnok, I need your help!
Bloodnok:
I'm sorry, it's her day off.
Seagoon:
I want you to sue the Titicacan legation for striking me with a piano.
Bloodnok:
How much for?
Seagoon:
They did it for nothing.
Bloodnok:
No wonder we get so many overseas visitors.
Seagoon:
I want you to sue them for 50,000.
Bloodnok:
I accept the case, but first the man from Illiing-tong! Demonstrate with that mad banjo and split mackerel head!
Ray Ellington Quartet:
[Musical Interlude: "That's Why the Old Grey Cloud Burst"]
Orchestra:
[dramatic chords]
Greenslade:
Case of the Missing CD Plates, Part the Two.
Seagoon:
Dear Listener, my legal advisor, Major Bloodnok, demands a salary of 40,000 before he will proceed with my case against the Titicacan legation and thus see justice done.
Grytpype-Thynne:
Ah, Neddy?
Seagoon:
You!
Grytpype-Thynne:
Neddy, how would you like 40,000?
Seagoon:
In money.
Grytpype-Thynne:
Gad, you drive a hard bargain.
Seagoon:
Name the task.
Grytpype-Thynne:
Very simple, dear boy, very simple. All you have to do is to go to a certain bonded warehouse in Bond Street, effect an entry, and, blindfolded, screw a small, white, metal plate to a certain object in the dark, which, for the time being will remain incognito.
Seagoon:
Wait. What's on this small plate?
Grytpype-Thynne:
Well, if I promise to tell you, will you promise not to tell anybody?
Seagoon:
Yes.
Grytpype-Thynne:
Good. Then it will be a secret between us?
Seagoon:
Right.
Grytpype-Thynne:
You'll do it?
Seagoon:
Yes -- Stop! What is this object I am to screw this plate to?
Grytpype-Thynne:
I can't tell unless I keep completely silent about it.
Seagoon:
Right. Tell me in silence then.
Grytpype-Thynne:
Very well.
[lenghty silence follows]
Seagoon:
I can't believe my ears!
Grytpype-Thynne:
Good. And here's the screwdriver, a blindfold, and a cucumber.
Seagoon:
Cucumber?
Grytpype-Thynne:
You've got to eat, haven't you? Now then, off you go. [aside] Little does this poor idiot know that inside the cucumber is a powerful infernal machine timed to explode the moment it detonates and to blow him to perdition when he has completed his task. Exits, humming. [hums, exiting]
Greenslade:
By the magic of wireless we now take you to a tar barrel in Yokohama...
FX:
[Pointless Milliginish music with slight oriental tones, sped up, ending in pst, tck, vng]
Greenslade:
Thank you. The Diplomatic Case of the Strange Immunity, Chapter Eight. A Case of Strange Diplomatic Immunity, or, With Igloo, Jack Knife and Saxophone Along the Appian Way. Chapter Ten. It is midnight in a certain bonded warehouse in Bond Street.
FX:
[mystery mood music]
Bluebottle:
Eccles?
Eccles:
Eh?
Bluebottle:
Eccles? It is nice sitting on this glowing brazier being a night watchman, isn't it, Eccles?
Eccles:
Yeah, fine. Fine.
Bluebottle:
Yes, it is fine being a night watchman!
Eccles:
Yeah.
Bluebottle:
Enccles? Do you like being a night watchman?
Eccles:
Yeah, fine, fine.
Bluebottle:
Yes, I like being a night watchman. It is like being a day watchman, only it's in the dark.
Eccles:
[hums "The Man from Laramie"] Yeah, dat's fine...
Bluebottle:
Yes, it's fine being a night watchman, isn't it?
Eccles:
Yeah, fine, fine. [hums]
Bluebottle:
You are a brave night watchman, aren't you, Eccles?
Eccles:
Yeah, sure, fine. [hums]
Bluebottle:
And I am a brave nightwatchman.
Eccles:
Yeah.
Bluebottle:
I like being a brave nightwatchman. [screams]
Eccles:
What?
Bluebottle:
There's something crawling on my trowsers!
Seagoon:
Ah, never fear! It's only me, little wooden-socked night watchman.
Bluebottle:
Ah, my captain! (Springs smartly to attention putting left toe into rat trap.)
FX:
[Trap shuts]
Bluebottle:
Aieeeeee! Ahoo! (Writhes in agony on floor.) (Thinks: What shall I thinks?) (Thinks: I can't think of a thinks.) (Unthinks.)
Seagoon:
Listen, tiny nurk!
Bluebottle:
Eh?
Seagoon:
I have a job for you. Now, take this plate and screwdriver and screw it into the object which I am told is in the far left-hand corner of this warehouse.
Bluebottle:
What is the reward, Captain?
Seagoon:
This lovely, green, succulent, prize-winning cucumber!
Bluebottle:
Oh, goody!
Seagoon:
Now, off you go and do your task. Come, Eccles, we must watch without to see that little nurk shall not disturb-ed be! Exunt Tucket and Treeze, fighting.
[exunt]
Bluebottle:
There. I have screwed the plate onto the piano. Now for a nice, succulent meal of luskious cucumber. Thinks: I wonder what it would be like to be a manmade salatite 120 miles above the earth?
FX:
[explosion, flying-through-space noice]
Bluebottle:
Ahh! So this is what it's like! Ahhh!
FX:
[music, gavel rapping]
Judge (Lew):
The case of Seagoon versus the Titicacan Embassy. We award Count Morisarty, and Hercules... and Hercuels Grytpype-Thynne, Consule of no fixed address, the sum of 50,000 nicker for wrongful accusations. Thankue.
Seagoon:
50,000 nicker! How will I get it? Wait! I know! [laughs] I'll get even with them! I'll go to Titicaca!
Greenslade:
And so, Seagoon took a ship for Titicaca. Meanwhile, in a notorious fish shop in Baryschool in Yoshiwara...
[considerable silence]
Greenslade:
By Jove, I do believe they're closed!
Seagoon:
And so I arrived in Titicaca with my bagpipes bent on revenge... All I had to do was to find a steamroller, throw myself under it and sue for damages. I hadn't long to wait. See, here comes one now!
FX:
[steamroller approaches.]
Voice:
Look out!
FX:
[Ned screaming, bagpipes dying]
Greenslade:
Dear Listener, the sound of Seagoon and his bagpipe being run over is the second sound in the series "These We Have Loved."
Milligan:
Oh! All right, lift him out gently, lads, and now, unroll him.
Sellers:
He keeps curling up like a blind, ah, matey.
Milligan:
Are you all right, Tom?
Seagoon:
Arrest that man!
Sellers:
What man?
Seagoon:
The driver of that steamroller! I demand 50,000 compensation!
Sellers:
Driver, did you hear that?
Bloodnok:
Yes, and I won't pay it!
Seagoon:
You can't get out of it!
Bloodnok:
Yes, I can! See these CD plates on the steamroller? Diplomatic immunity, you see!
Seagoon:
You're not --
Bloodnok:
Yes, I am! Major Bloodnok, British Ambassador to the Court of Titikahn!
Seagoon:
You mean --
Bloodnok:
Yes, I have diplomatic immunity! Keep away from me. And what is more, I shall charge you!
Seagoon:
Indeed? And may I hear the charge?
Bloodnok:
Certainly!
FX:
[trumpet charge, as before, under:]
Seagoon:
Oh, no! You can't do this to me...!
FX:
[fades to theme music, credits]
Greenslade:
And that was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The Orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott, script by Spike Milligan, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the program was produced by Peter Eton.